Editor’s Note: Rethinking The Holidays
As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m letting go of unrealistic expectations (my own and others’) and zeroing in on what really matters.
I have a hard time staying in the moment. Part of the reason is my perfectionist personality and part is because I’m always planning for what’s next. Sometimes these traits serve me well – I’m a damn good worker and I run a (primarily) tight ship – but most of the time they just create unnecessary inner chaos (I woke up at 4 o’clock this morning thinking about shipping rates).
When it comes to the holidays, I tend to go into the season with unrealistic expectations and a list of to-do’s: Finish all work by this date, make my home (in Phoenix, where there’s no snow) a winter wonderland, spend one-on-one time with every friend, family member and perfect stranger I meet from here until January 1…oh, yeah, and have fun. Dammit, HAVE ALL OF THE FUN.
Can you guess how I feel by the time the New Year rolls around? Not rested or prepared for the fresh start, that’s for sure. In fact, I can barely remember the season that’s passed because I got too wrapped up in the “shoulds” to actually register the sweet and simple moments. And it’s always the sweet and simple moments that have the most profound impact.
This year, I’m vowing to be more mindful about the holidays. To say that I’m planning for them to be completely stress-free would be naïve – and maybe even ironic – but, this year, when the anxiety creeps in, I’ll know I have control over how I choose to react to it. Instead of focusing on the pressure to create “perfect” memories, I’ll choose to be present and concentrate my energy on:
Time – any time we get, whether it’s 5 minutes or 5 hours – with family and friends
…and I think that might be it, so, take note, universe
All of the other stuff – the perfect-requiring part of the holidays – has no space in my life anymore.
Here at RUBY, we’ll be focusing a lot on the “simple” aspects of the season from here until January. We hope you’ll join in on the journey. For now, let’s start here: